Sunday, February 26, 2006

Parents told to look out for deadly disease

IPD can kill young children in a few days
A doctor yesterday warned parents to look out for a flu-like disease called ''invasive pneumococcal disease'' (IPD), which can kill children aged under two years in just a few days. Somsak Lolekha, chairman of the Paediatric Infectious Disease Society of Thailand, said the disease is caused by the streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria which is often found in children aged below two as they have no immunity against the disease.''Actually, IPD is not new to Thais. It has long existed, but most parents are not aware of it,'' said Dr Somsak.He said IPD can cause serious infection in human organs, the neuro and respiratory systems, as well as in the blood. Those contracting IPD could suffer from diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia. ''If proper medication is not given in time, patients could die in a matter of days, or could become disabled,'' said Dr Somsak.
He said people often mistook IPD for the common flu, as the general symptoms are alike.''But IPD is actually much more serious. Treating it is also more difficult as the bacteria has become resistant to drugs,'' said Dr Somsak.

Apart from flu-like symptoms, IPD also has some irregular indications, such as drowsiness, vomiting, dehydration and spasms.Figures from the World Health Organisation showed that more than one million children aged under five fall victim to IPD each year worldwide.In Thailand, records at the Children's Hospital showed that pneumococcal meningitis causes death in 23% of children, while IPD permanently disables many of the sufferers.

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